Separation Fear: An Integral Feature of the Complex Trauma Syndrome in War-Refugees

  •  Vito Zepinic    


Feelings of uncertainty after traumatic event (i.e., forcefully leaving living place) is a common cause of severe fear (anxiety) which may contribute to development of complex trauma syndrome. Traumatic injuries of such depleted individual’s sense of aliveness might be quite catastrophic causing a perception that one’s identity, togetherness and wholeness is lost forever. In such situation, the individual’s response may lead to a cascade of the events which may result in severe symptoms of the hyperarousal, dissociation, depersonalisation, detachment, recollection of the intrusive events, and avoidance of reminder.
Separation fear (anxiety) among war-refugees is a broader condition than it is defined as the anxiety disorder in which dominant features are excessive and inappropriate anxiety of the separation from primary attachment figure(s). In war-refugees, the clinical manifestations are realistic worries about harmful things which may happen to the attachment figure(s) who are left behind – condition of persistent fears for loved ones of being killed, tortured, and possible lost forever.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.